Last Tuesday, U.S. president Donald Trump paid a visit to a bare patch of desert outside of San Diego to inspect border wall prototypes, looking over them in the baking heat not unlike, perhaps, the way a demanding fashion designer peruses a series of fabric swatches.
The visit comes at a moment of renewed tension between Mexico and United States, with Trump continuing to insist publicly that his neighbors to the south foot the bill for his massively expensive pet project.
Harnessing a sector of the public’s fear of illegal immigration was one of the key ways the mogul was able to garner the support necessary for election to the world’s most powerful office. Fulfilling the promise of the wall’s construction would go a long way toward shoring up his voter base for reelection in 2020.
The president expressed a preference for a transparent wall prototype, the logic being that it was important to be able to see what was happening on the other side. His reasoning would seem to suggest an unawareness of the existence of drones, cameras, and other modern, ubiquitous surveillance technologies.
Conspicuously absent during the event were politicians from the state of California. Trump may have rode solo as a way to thumb his nose at a state which has been a continual thorn in his side since his election. Just as likely is the fact that, even for California’s Republican politicians, Trump is politically leprous in the western state.